Technology has been a key focus at Courtney Christian School over the last few years, and those efforts are proving fruitful as the school continues to implement significant technology resources and pilot digital instruction in the classrooms. All campus buildings have been outfitted with advanced wiring and Wi-Fi, smart TVs have been installed in many classrooms, and additional iPads and laptops are on their way.
The school’s Accelerated Reading program was among the first to introduce iPads two years ago, allowing students who visit the school library to take tests on books they’ve read and earn points through the online Star Reading program. This year, the number of iPads and laptops on campus will increase to more than 300 – one for every student in kindergarten through eighth grade.
In preparation for this, math teacher Laurie Miller piloted the middle school’s use of technology in instruction by incorporating interactive apps and digital programs mirrored from her iPad to the classroom smart TV while teaching to demonstrate and reinforce new concepts. Students in her class have access to those math apps on their own in-class iPads and can also share their work by mirroring their iPads to the classroom smart TV. Programs like Notability, Quizlet, Math Antics and IXL Math are among those being used to enhance middle school math instruction. By the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, all classrooms from kindergarten to eighth grade will be equipped with smart TVs to incorporate this kind of digital instruction.
Additionally, eighth grade students at Courtney Christian School now take a Keyboarding and Microsoft Office course to prepare them for completing their final research papers and equip them with skills needed for high school. In this class, students have learned proper typing skills and have been introduced to popular programs and email for school purposes.
In the elementary classrooms, first grade teachers Sybil Carruth and Sydney Atwell have included the use of iPads as a resource for interventions, allowing students to use programs adaptable to their needs to close potential learning gaps. This practice will soon expand to all classes second grade and below.
The teachers who have piloted these technology strategies are providing training to their colleagues this semester, and all teachers will receive additional professional development opportunities related to technology in the future. While the addition of technology to the classrooms is an exciting enhancement, Courtney Christian School will always value traditional textbooks, hands-on curriculum and high-quality teaching, according to school administration.
The technology advancements to date have been made possible through an annual student technology fee, fundraising by the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization and grant funding.